One of the most wonderful features of a Bell Tent, after the distinctive aesthetic, is the ease of pitching. One person can erect one of these beauties alone fairly swiftly. It's downright speedy when there's more than one of you. And here's how we go about it, with excessive picture references:
First, pick a spot and lay out your under-tent tarp
Pick a nice level spot with suitable windbreaks and, if possible, a beautiful view. If camping in a group it's nice to all face the entries to your tents into a central space. The tarp prevents the bottom of your groundsheet from getting covered in grass and mud or soaking the canvas when you put it away. And another layer between you and the cold, hard ground is always a bonus.
Second, peg out your tent
On this particular occasion, this broke the mallet. Now we have a nice new wooden mallet that will hopefully last longer than the season-and-a-half its predecessor managed. Now is also the time to tuck the corners of the under-tent tarp under the tent. For pretties.
Third, find the door
Fourth, leave your shoes outside and enter the tent
Fifth, unpack your chandelier
Sixth, check where the centre of your tent is
Seventh, insert centre pole
Eighth, erect the pole remembering to include chandelier
Ninth, add the door pole
Tenth, peg out the guyropes
Eleventh, add bunting, get the kettle on and start enjoying your camping experience
* I can't claim the credit for this joke, she made it first.
** More on this in a subsequent post. It is a truly marvelous contraption.